The Best & Worst Places to Live If You Want a Big Backyard, New Research Shows

The study looked at 2,000 of the largest cities in the U.S.

There's nothing like hosting an al fresco dinner party or watching your kids run around outside, but these activities are only possible if you have a big enough backyard. And though you might assume that's only feasible in the country or suburbs, new research shows that plenty of U.S. cities also have sizable yards. The study from LawnStarter "compared the 2,000 biggest U.S. cities based on the average yard sizes of single-family homes from the Federal Housing Finance Agency." They then ranked the cities to determine the locations with the biggest and smallest yards. Keep reading to discover the best and worst cities to live in if you want a big backyard.

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The 10 cities with the smallest yards.

Small Yard
ben bryant/Shutterstock

Unsurprisingly, according to the study, more congested cities are less likely to have big backyards. The team at LawnStarter also notes that the average yard size for the cities at the bottom is less than one-tenth of an acre.

Bayonne, New Jersey

Bayonne New Jersey
Roman Babakin/Shutterstock

Population Size: 70,497

Average Yard Acreage: 0.029

Bayonne is ideal if you're looking to be close to New York City, but if you want a big yard, you may want to live elsewhere. It's also the first of six cities in New Jersey to be at the bottom.

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Atlantic City skyline including the Revel casino at dawn. Atlantic City located on the Jersey shore is a resort city on Absecon Island in Atlantic County, New Jersey. Atlantic City is known for its two mile long boardwalk, gambling casinos, great nightlife, beautiful beaches, and the Miss America Pageant.

Population Size: 38,487

Average Yard Acreage: 0.028

While it's known for its nightlife, casinos, and beaches, Atlantic City, won't give you a lot of space in the backyard.

New York City

people crossing the street in New York City

Population Size: 8,622,467

Average Yard Acreage: 0.022

It's not surprising that New York City, with its enormous population and dense apartment buildings, is one of the worst places to live if you want a big backyard.


boston, massachusetts
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

Population Size: 665,945

Average Yard Acreage: 0.020

Boston is another big East Coast city with smaller-than-average backyards.

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Population Size: 1,593,208

Average Yard Acreage: 0.019

You're not likely to find a big backyard in heavily populated Philadelphia.

Camden, New Jersey

Camden New Jersey
Kyle J Little/Shutterstock

Population Size: 71,799

Average Yard Acreage: 0.018

Camden, New Jersey is the third out of six cities in New Jersey to be included.

West New York, New Jersey

West New York New Jersey

Population Size: 52,438

Average Yard Acreage: 0.018

West New York, New Jersey might have beautiful big-city views, but it doesn't have much backyard space.

San Francisco

San Francisco downtown with Coit Tower in foreground. California famous city SF. Travel destination USA

Population Size: 851,036

Average Yard Acreage: 0.018

According to the data, many cities in California do not have "spacious yards," and San Francisco is one of them.

RELATED: The 25 Most Neighborly Cities in the U.S., New Study Says.

Union City, New Jersey

Union City New Jersey
Belikova Oksana/Shutterstock

Population Size: 67,258

Average Yard Acreage: 0.015

Coming in second to last is Union City, New Jersey. It's another city that is close to New York, but you might not get lucky when it comes to having a lawn.

Hoboken, New Jersey

Hoboken New Jersey

Population Size: 58,754

Average Yard Acreage: 0.011

If you're hoping for any space in your backyard, you're not likely to find it in Hoboken. It's the last city in New Jersey, and it's the worst place to live if you want a big backyard.

The 10 cities with the biggest backyards.

Elegantly Styled Backyard
Sheila Say/Shutterstock

Some big cities also have big yards. According to the study, only the top 150 cities enjoy lawns larger than the national average of half an acre. And cities with populations under 50,000 tend to get the most space.

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The Acreage, Florida

South Florida
Anthony Giarrusso/Shutterstock

Population Size: 40,160

Average Yard Acreage: 0.789

The Acreage in South Florida is the first city in the top 10, with an average yard size of more than three-quarters of an acre.

Barnstable Town, Massachusetts

Barnstable Town, Massachusetts

Population Size: 48,922

Average Yard Acreage: 0.790

Barnstable Town is a city in Massachusetts that's known for its scenic views—and large backyards.

Weatherford, Texas

Weatherford Texas
Bradly Hulce/Shutterstock

Population Size: 32,168

Average Yard Acreage: 0.814

LawnStarter points out that Texas had 15 cities in the top 150. Weatherford is one of them, and it's the first of two in the state to be this high up on the list.

Nacogdoches, Texas

Nacogdoches Texas
Kenneth Morton/Shutterstock

Population Size: 32,148

Average Yard Acreage: 0.825

With only a 20-person difference in population from Weatherford, Nacogdoches is one of the best cities to live in if you want a big backyard.

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Derry, New Hampshire

Robert Frost Farm Derry New Hampshire
Zack Frank/Shutterstock

Population Size: 23,027

Average Yard Acreage: 0.829

Derry, New Hampshire, home to the Robert Frost Farm, places sixth. It isn't heavily populated, which may mean there's more room for big backyards.

Fallbrook, California

Fallbrook California
Jason Finn/iStock

Population Size: 33,710

Average Yard Acreage: 0.853

Fallbrook is the only city in California to make the top 10. Lawnstarter points out that "255 Golden State cities shrank into the bottom half of our ranking."

Caledonia, Wisconsin

Caledonia Wisconsin
Tony Savino/Shutterstock

Population Size: 25,277

Average Yard Acreage: 0.951

With a population of just over 25,000 residents, Caledonia, Wisconsin offers average lots with almost a full acre of space.

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Mequon, Wisconsin

Mequon Wisconsin
James Meyer/Shutterstock

Population Size: 25,102

Average Yard Acreage: 0.966

Mequon is the second city in Wisconsin to make the top five, coming in with just under an acre of average yard space.

Linton Hall, Virginia

Prince William County Virginia

Population Size: 42,702

Average Yard Acreage: 1.046

Taking second place is Linton Hall, Virginia. Even though it has a larger population than other cities in the top 10, it also has over one acre of yard space.

Carney, Maryland

Baltimore Country Maryland
Sean Pavone/iStock

Population Size: 29, 352

Average Yard Acreage: 1.140

According to the study, Carney, Maryland is the best city to live in if you want a big backyard.

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Courtney Shapiro
Courtney Shapiro is an Associate Editor at Best Life. Before joining the Best Life team, she had editorial internships with BizBash and Anton Media Group. Read more
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